Summer 2007



Summer 2007
Summer 2007
Q uarterly
Newslet t e r
f o r
P e o p l e
w i t h
O s t o mi e s
Teens Rap to a New Beat
Young people with ostomies find new ways
to keep up with their old tricks
What’s up with teens and tweens with ostomies? The same stuff that concerns
everybody else. “Will I fit in?” “What if someone finds out I’m different?” “Is my
favorite pair of jeans clean?” “Will I get a goal in soccer?” Though zits and bad
hair days seem tame compared to an ostomy, things don’t have to change
drastically after surgery.
“People with ostomies have done everything, like surfing and becoming Rhodes
Scholars,” said Beth Harrison, Pediatric WOCN at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“Once they’ve mastered this, nothing in life will ever seem hard.”
Hospitals from coast to coast employ nurses like Beth who make it their job to help
young people hip-hop their way right back into their day-to-day lives. For example, before
surgery, Beth takes a look at a teen’s wardrobe to determine his or her style (hip-hop,
rocker, punk or preppy) and suggests easy ways to adapt it to accommodate the ostomy.
She also helps determine the most convenient spot for the stoma and suggests
pouching options.
In most cases teens and tweens can get back onto the field or into the pool after a
recovery period. A simple hernia belt with a prolapse flap can provide comfort and
protection during soccer or football games. The New Image 7" Closed Mini-Pouch from
Hollister is great under leotards or gymnastics gear, and wetsuit bottoms offer extra support
for swimming or surfing.
“No matter what activity people with ostomies choose, they need to make sure to get enough fluids
and balance their diet,” added Beth. “And, of course, find a pouching system that fits well and allows
good wear time.”
Most importantly, remember that you’re not alone. There are tons of teens and tweens going through the same stuff
you are. Look for a really cool teen/tween page and chat room on by the end of the year. Want
friends now? Check out YODAA (Young Ostomate and Diversion Alliance of America) at and Camp
Oasis, sponsored by CCFA (Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America) at
See you there!
Personal Profile
Cover Story
–Teens Rap to a New Beat
Personal Profile
–Forever Young
Ask Brenda
–Hats Off to John
Talking Points
–Big Coverage For
Small Products
Frequently Asked
–Straight Talk for Teens
Someone You Should
Know at Hollister
–Ellen Sofie
What’s New
–Get Your Guts in Gear
Forever Young
Shaz runs an upbeat website from down under
When Sharon Sandells, aka Shaz, had her ileosotomy at age 10 due
to ulcerative colitis, she kept a diary. Her first entry, dated January 7,
reads, “Harriet, my stoma, was born.” Thirty-one
years later, Shaz and Harriet use honesty and
humor to inform, inspire and connect people with
ostomies of all ages—especially teens and
young adults.
Report from Overseas 7
–Hollister in France
Shaz’s Ostomy Pages is an interactive website
created as an antidote to the typical “medical
speak” sites. Viewers are immediately greeted by
Bessie the Bag and her quote of the day. Then Shaz, whose devilish grin makes her appear
perpetually young, ushers them in with her personal story, told in colorful, no-holds-barred
What’s New
–Puerto Rico Hosts
IOA Congress
“I’ve tried to keep the site upbeat while still telling it like it is,” explained Shaz, who works as a
data processor for the Diabetes Association. “People soon realize that it’s not only ‘older’ people
who have ostomy surgery and that others their age have been there, done that and have the
bag to prove it.”
Chapter Profile
–What a Difference
an “A” Makes
United Ostomy Associations of
America, Inc. (UOAA)
[email protected]
Wound, Ostomy and Continence
Nurses Society (WOCN)
The 10-year-old site is a cornucopia of information distilled into simple language, from how to
irrigate your colostomy to pregnancy after an ostomy. But according to Shaz, the most valuable
features are the message board and 24/7 chat room, where people make friends from around
the world. There’s even a section on the message board expressly for teens.
“My favorite parts are the humor pages,” chuckled Shaz. “Check out the Ostomy Barbie®. I just
think that a sense of humor goes a long way when you’re dealing with something like this. You
can either be miserable and have a ‘woe is me’ attitude or you can laugh about it all and get on
with living.”
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of
America, Inc. (CCFA)
Shaz lives life to the hilt in Perth, Australia, with Harriet and their cats, Leia and Xena. Visit them
A Quarterly Newsletter for People with Ostomies
Ask Brenda
Hats Off to John
A 17-year-old proudly wears his opinion of people with ostomies
By Brenda Elsagher
While preparing to write this column, I asked my 17-year-old
son, “Would you ever date a girl that had an ostomy?” Without
a moment’s hesitation he answered, “Sure, why not?” I realize
that he is an “informed” teenager when it comes to the world of
ostomy. He has not only grown up with a mom who lives with an
ostomy, but has been dragged along to many talks and
fundraisers over the years pertaining to living with an ostomy.
Suddenly a memory flooded back to me from the last United
Ostomy Association conference held in Anaheim, California,
in 2005. John noticed that the board members sitting up
at the head table wore commemorative hats that said United
Ostomy Association on the front and the years the organization
had existed on the back.
“Hey, Mom, any way you can get
me one of those hats?” he
whispered. I fired off, “You want
one of those hats? The Ostomy
Association hats? Why? Would
you wear it to high school?” “Of
course,” he answered matter-offactly. Frankly, I wondered if he
really would wear it.
When school started, John plopped
on his hat as he walked out the door.
After he came home I confronted him,
“Did anyone ask what the United Ostomy Association was?”
“Sure, all the time—teachers and students,” he replied.
Curious, I asked, “What did you tell them about it?” “I told them
it was an association of people that had ostomy in common,”
he explained. “Then when they asked me what an ostomy is,
I told them it’s when people have to wear a bag or a
pouch because their colon and stuff has been rerouted.”
I prodded him for more: “Do they ask more questions after
that?” “Nope,” he said with a smile. “They usually just walked
away kind of fast.”
“Our ostomies are a
small part of us that others
have to get used to.”
He must have put more thought into dating
someone with an ostomy as he did his
homework, because he came to me later
and said, “Mom, it wouldn’t bother me
because I know what it is because my Mom
has one. If you’d never heard of it, though,
you might have to get used to it,” he added.
Since I was married when I found out I had
colon cancer and consequently had my ostomy, I never
experienced the stress of dating while living with an ostomy.
I felt shy about asking a board member if I could buy a hat from Dating without one was traumatic enough.
them, but we mothers often step out of our comfort zones to
satisfy our kids’ desires. Though deathly afraid, I have not I always learn so much from my kids. John’s words held a lot of
hesitated to slay spiders or mice that were simple wisdom. If someone cares for you, that person will get
in the same room as my children; used to your ostomy. We are all much more than our ostomies.
surely I could ask about a baseball We are whole people with great love, humor and passion. Our
cap. I approached Dan and Marilyn ostomies are a small part of us that others have to get used to.
Tyrell of Michigan, explained And this can happen only after we start getting used
John’s desire and offered to pay to ourselves.
for a hat. They wouldn’t hear of it.
Instead, Marilyn said with a wink in
her eye, “I might give it away to Brenda Elsagher is a funny national keynote speaker, author
John for the price of a hug.” The and person living with an ostomy for 11 years. Her books,
deal was sealed and John If the Battle Is Over, Why am I Still in Uniform? and
wore the hat proudly I’d Like to Buy a Bowel Please! are available at
during the rest of our She also welcomes questions or
stay in California.
comments about this column. Please contact her at
[email protected]
Brenda’s son John proudly wears his
United Ostomy Association hat
A Quarterly Newsletter for People with Ostomies
Talking Points
Big Coverage for Small Products
Deanna Eaves tracks reimbursement for mini-pouches, stoma caps and Adapt Lubricating Deodorant
When ostomy products are provided to a
customer, the supplier of that product
usually sends an insurance claim to the
customer’s insurance company. Instead of
writing the actual description of the product
(for example, “drainable ostomy pouch with
a filter and flat standard-wear barrier and an
integrated closure”) on the insurance form,
each product is assigned a billing code
based on the Healthcare Common
Procedure Coding System (HCPCS). These
codes break down the common
characteristics of ostomy products (and
other medical products) into categories and
make it easier for the insurance
administrator to understand what product
was provided.
Additionally, these HCPCS codes are usually
assigned a dollar amount that the insurance
company will approve for that type of
product (a fee schedule). Because each
insurance company is different and many
base their practices on what Medicare does,
this article will focus on the Medicare fee
schedules and guidelines for usage.
A group of clinicians and insurance
professionals known as the HCPCS Coding
Panel assigns the more than 10,000
HCPCS codes. Since there are already
several codes to manage, the panel strives
to make the categories as broad as
possible. The table to the right provides
the HCPCS (billing) code for Hollister
Drainable Mini-Pouches–Two Piece
Ostomy pouch, drainable, for use on barrier with
nonlocking flange, with filter (2-piece system), each
Ostomy pouch, drainable, for use on barrier with
flange (2-piece system), each
20 ea / mo
20 ea / mo
Drainable Mini-Pouches–One Piece
Ostomy pouch, drainable, with extended-wear barrier
attached (1 piece), each
Ostomy pouch, drainable, with extended-wear barrier
attached, with built-in convexity (1 piece), each
Ostomy pouch, drainable, with barrier attached,
with filter (1 piece), each
Ostomy pouch, drainable, with barrier attached
(1 piece), each
20 ea / mo
20 ea / mo
60 ea / mo
60 ea / mo
60 ea / mo
31 ea / mo
Closed Mini-Pouches–Two Piece
Ostomy pouch, closed, for use on barrier with flange
(2 piece), each
Ostomy pouch, closed, for use on barrier with
nonlocking flange, with filter (2 piece), each
Closed Mini-Pouches–One Piece
Ostomy pouch, closed, with barrier attached,
with filter (1 piece), each
Stoma Caps
Stoma cap
Adapt Lubricating Deodorant
Ostomy deodorant with or without lubricant,
for use in ostomy pouch, liquid, per fluid ounce
mini-pouches, stoma caps and Adapt
Lubricating Deodorant, as well as their
descriptions, Medicare fee schedule
amounts and usage guidelines. The fee
schedule amounts are for each pouch,
each stoma cap or each ounce of Adapt
Lubricating Deodorant.
Please note that mini-pouches do not have
special HCPCS codes. The size of the
pouch was not a feature that was broken out
by the HCPCS Coding Panel. Therefore, the
same billing codes used for full-size
pouches with the same features will be
used for mini-pouches. The same can be
Medicare Max Medicare Fee
A Quarterly Newsletter for People with Ostomies
said for the pouch closure on a drainable
pouch. There is no additional money given
for an integrated closure than for one that
requires a clamp. In addition, since Adapt
Lubricating Deodorant is paid for by the
ounce, it does not matter whether you get
the 8-ounce bottle or the convenient box of
50 take-along packets.
As stated earlier, these are the Medicare
guidelines. Each insurance company is
different and therefore you should check
with your insurance company to see how it
will pay for each of the products that
you require.
Frequently Asked Questions
Straight Talk for Teens
Life in the fast lane goes on with a few easy adjustments
Having an ostomy at any age is an adjustment, but when you are a teen it may seem overwhelming. Remember that you are not alone.
There are many teens who have ostomy surgery every year. Here are some questions and suggestions that may help.
How do I tell people about my ostomy?
How you handle it is an individual decision.
When you decide to share, it’s helpful to
know who and when you want to tell. Keep
the explanation simple. It may help to
rehearse with a parent or a sibling. Most
teens find that close friends don’t treat
them any differently and, in fact, are
curious to know more. It also relieves a lot
of stress to share this with a good friend.
How do I control the odor?
As long as your pouch is secure, there
should not be an odor. When you empty
your pouch, you may find it helpful to flush
the toilet at the same time as emptying and
to use an odor eliminator in the pouch. This
needs to be reinserted when you change
or empty the pouch. Always wipe the
bottom of the pouch off to avoid odor.
How do I prevent leakage?
Nothing is 100 percent guaranteed, but
planning ahead can make a big
difference! Get familiar with the wear time
for your pouching system. Change your
pouch on schedule and don’t push your
time limit. Think through what could
happen and plan for it. Keep extra ostomy
supplies in an inconspicuous bag and an
extra change of clothes in your locker or
Can I participate in sports?
Depending on how recent your surgery
was and your overall health, you can
probably participate in the same individual
and team sports as you did prior to your
surgery. It is best to check with your
surgeon to see if you are ready for any
activity. Protect your stoma from direct
blows. Remember that you cannot feel the
stoma. Also drink enough fluids so you
don’t become dehydrated. Many teens
Can I wear regular clothes?
also find that they need to change their
Most teens find that they can wear the pouch more frequently when they sweat.
same clothes that other kids their age are
wearing. Talk with your WOC nurse and
experiment with different pouching options
such as one-piece, two-piece, beige and
different sizes. Some may work better
under your specific clothes than others.
Someone You Should Know at Hollister
Ellen Sofie
Consumer Programs Manager
Need a sample of a new product? Got a
question about how to use it? Care to
share suggestions for improvement? Ellen
Sofie’s team is at the other end of the line
to listen, suggest and speed samples
directly to your door.
“The only way we can improve our products is to listen to our
customers and treat them with compassion,” said Ellen.
Ellen brings 20 years of customer service management experience to
Hollister. In past positions with Xerox, Zeller Plastiks and Cardinal
Health, Inc., she dealt with distributors and hospitals, so her job as
Manager of Consumer Programs came as a refreshing change. She
“Please feel free to call or e-mail,” urges Ellen. “We really care loves relating directly with customers, especially since she also had
an ostomy, which doctors were able to reverse.
about you and want to be there for you.”
Ellen shepherds a flock of 10 consumer representatives. Six
representatives field calls and e-mails from clinicians and customers.
The other four do follow-up and troubleshooting after samples are
sent. Hollister considers them the voice of the customer, and monthly
meetings with the marketing and clinician groups provide a forum for
product instruction, feedback and suggestions.
“For me things have come full circle,” she said. “I used Hollister
products and now I can make a difference in the lives of others who
use them. It’s like getting paid for volunteer work—and I love it.”
To speak with a member of the Consumer Programs Team please
call 1.800.323.4060, select Option 3, Monday through Friday,
8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST.
A Quarterly Newsletter for People with Ostomies
Announcements/What’s New
Get Your Guts in Gear This Summer
Start training today! The Ride for Crohn’s & Colitis is a three-day, 210-mile
cycling event on two coasts that raises funds and awareness for Crohn’s
disease and ulcerative colitis. The New York ride is June 8–10 and the
Seattle-area ride is August 3–5. All routes can be completed by a
beginning rider with sufficient training and are challenging enough for a
seasoned cyclist. Not into cycling? Become a volunteer! For more
information go to
Chapter Profile
What a Difference an “A” Makes
The First UOAA Conference ready to launch August 15–18
First kiss. First car. First job. Some firsts
are unforgettable, and the first UOAA
Conference planned for August 15–18 in
the Chicago area promises to be one of
them. The conference theme, “What a
Difference an ‘A’ Makes,” says it all.
“We’re showing the difference between
the UOA and the UOAA by pulling out the
letter ‘A’ in various words, like ‘attitude,’”
explained Kristin Knipp, national
conference chairperson. “We’re a
dynamic group of people who want to
prove that our new organization will be
around for a long time.”
The conference promises to offer a
dynamic series of firsts. The first-ever
UOAA Golf Outing will take place on the
Marriott Lincolnshire Resort PGA
Championship course. Conference goers
can crawl through “Coco” the Colossal
Colon®, a 40-foot-long, 4-foot-tall model
of the human colon. And closing speaker
Craig Wilson will preview his
documentary Farang Ba (Crazy White
Foreigner), about his foray into boxing
after his ostomy surgery in Thailand.
Exciting educational workshops are
planned, on topics ranging from
maximizing private insurance and
Medicare to dealing with pelvic floor
dysfunction. Major suppliers and
manufacturers (including Hollister
Incorporated) will showcase the latest
ostomy products in one of the largest
exhibitions to date. Special programming
for teens and young adults will include a
YODAA workshop on sex and
relationships, a night out at a Chicago hot
spot and a Teen Network session about
dealing with depression.
“I am most excited to meet all of the new
people,” said Kristin. “They walk in
having never met another person with an
ostomy and leave feeling like they’re part
of a big happy family.”
The UOAA Conference is one first you
can’t afford to miss, whether you’re a
20-year veteran or someone who just had
ostomy surgery. Look for registration
forms in the June issue of the Phoenix
magazine, go to or call
1.800.826.0826. Hope you join us!
A Quarterly Newsletter for People with Ostomies
Report from Overseas
Hollister in France
The language of love is spoken loud and clear in the Paris office
When twin baby girls underwent ostomy surgery two years ago,
three of the manufacturers of ostomy products in France had
nothing that would fit them. Their mother contacted the Paris
office of Hollister International and a sales representative made a
beeline to the hospital with an idea and a prayer. Adapt Convex
Rings and Moderma Flex One-Piece Pouching Systems (the
European equivalent of Premier Pouching Systems) were
lifesavers for the petite patients, and to this day their mother
speaks to ET nurses about the tender loving care they received
from Hollister.
and extra financial support. Every two years, hundreds of people
with ostomies meet at a national congress to socialize, swap
ideas and learn about new products. At last year’s gathering
Clementine presented the Hollister story, which was a welcome
change from the usual sales pitches of other manufacturers.
“My favorite part of the job is interacting with all the different
people, from ET nurses and patients to marketing managers from
other parts of Europe,” added Clementine. “They all love to share
their stories and I love sharing mine.”
“Hollister always focuses on the customer first, rather than just
selling the product,” said Clementine Bouthors, Marketing
Manager. “We get the product to them wherever they are.”
The French crew works its magic from an office in the heart of
Paris near the Arc de Triomphe. Four people report directly to
Clementine and provide marketing and product support for the 17
sales representatives who travel the country. Though Hollister has
been in France for 15 years, the launch of new products such as
Pouchkins Pediatric Pouching Systems and the extension of the
Conform 2 product line (the European equivalent of New Image
Two-Piece Pouching Systems) have recently put the company in
the limelight.
Clementine’s team trains the sales representatives, who in turn
conduct informative workshops with ET nurses in public and
private hospitals. French state health coverage (CMU) provides
100 percent reimbursement for ostomy supplies, and Clementine
makes sure that Hollister products stay in the forefront of
everyone’s minds. Each ostomy patient is given a kit that includes
samples, a mail-in coupon for two free gifts and a membership
application form for ILCO, the French association for people with
ileostomies, colostomies and urostomies.
ILCO has 60 branches throughout France, and Hollister sends a
sales representative to each meeting, along with refreshments
“Hollister always focuses on the customer first,
rather than just selling the product.”
A Quarterly Newsletter for People with Ostomies
Hollister Incorporated
2000 Hollister Drive
Libertyville, Illinois 60048-9812
Announcements/What’s New
Hollister Customer Care
Call to subscribe to
Secure Start newsletter
Hollister Incorporated
2000 Hollister Drive
Libertyville, Illinois 60048–9812
Hollister and logo, Hollister, Secure Start, Adapt,
Conform 2, Moderma Flex, New Image, Pouchkins,
Premier and “Attention to Detail. Attention to Life.” are
trademarks of Hollister Incorporated. Barbie is a
registered trademark of Mattel, Inc.
©2007 Hollister Incorporated
Puerto Rico Hosts IOA Congress
Representatives from over 35 countries will gather August 7–12 at
the lovely Fajardo Inn in eastern Puerto Rico for the IOA 12th World
Congress. This year, instead of an exhibition, manufacturer
representatives will each give a special 10-minute presentation and
sponsor a guest speaker. Hollister is pleased to welcome Susan
Stelton, Vice President of WCET. Special programming and events
are planned for the attendees, and the member country delegates
will elect new officers.
In addition to informative sessions, delegates will enjoy a welcome
reception around the Bamboo Beach pool, an 18-hole putting
course, karaoke and a tour of historic San Juan. A first-time
international auction will feature an item from each of the countries
“World Congresses are very special events. I have met people from
literally around the world, including those from underdeveloped
countries,” said Di Bracken, outgoing IOA President. “Meeting
people renews my faith in the work I’ve done, and will continue to do,
on behalf of the organization.”

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